Carrier Transicold and Gray & Adams: Bringing the All-Electric Autonomous Vector® eCool to UK Roads

Carrier Transicold and Gray & Adams have entered into a special collaboration, delivering the new Vector eCool system to UK Roads. The demonstrator programme will showcase the abilities of the innovative electric technology and its sustainable advantages to Gray & Adams’ and Carrier Transicold’s customers.

Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.

The UK’s first Vector eCool – the industry’s only fully autonomous, all-electric refrigerated trailer system – has been fitted to a new Gray & Adams 13.6-metre demonstrator trailer that is now on the road and showcasing the cutting-edge technology to Carrier Transicold customers.

Utilising a new energy recovery and storage system, the Vector eCool converts kinetic energy generated by the trailer axle and brakes into electricity, which is then stored in a battery pack powering the refrigeration unit. This loop creates a fully autonomous system that produces no direct carbon dioxide or particulate emissions.

“The Vector eCool reaffirms our commitment to reducing emissions, improving sustainability and increasing efficiency across the refrigerated transport sector,”

said Scott Dargan, Managing Director UK and Northern Europe, Carrier Transicold.

“This exciting new technology represents a giant step forward for trailer refrigeration, and we are delighted to be working together with Gray & Adams on the roll-out here in the UK.”

The autonomous power developed by the trailer and the subsequent emissions reductions have attracted significant interest from The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) – a not for profit organisation that plays a key role in helping the government deliver its low carbon transport strategy.

“As part of the road to net zero, we must take into consideration emissions generated by transport refrigeration units and other ancillary power, and our testing already includes these aspects,”

said Andy Eastlake, Managing Director, LowCVP.

“Innovation such as this from Carrier Transicold is demonstrating what needs to be done to future-proof its products; the Vector eCool is a practical, workable solution that ticks all of the boxes of electrification and decarbonisation and we are excited to see it take to the road in 2021.”

Carrier Transicold has been working closely with Gray & Adams on the design of the demonstrator to maximise the environmental benefits of the system. Even with the axle generator and battery pack, it is lighter than a standard diesel unit with a full tank of fuel.

The tri-axle trailer also features aerodynamic cappings to reduce drag, while bespoke sideguards allow access to the battery system and protect cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

“We have a special relationship with Carrier; working so closely with them to bring the Vector eCool to the UK has been really exciting,”

said Peter Gray, Joint Managing Director, Gray & Adams.

“Our design teams have seamlessly integrated the axle, braking and battery systems that make up the eCool into a trailer that has the potential to completely change the face of refrigerated transport.”

Suitable for operation with the engineless versions of Carrier Transicold’s Vector HE 19 and Vector 1550 E, the Vector eCool utilises the company’s E-Drive™ all-electric technology to the fullest. Where traditional belt-driven systems suffer a loss of up to 40% kilowatts cooling power when converting electrical energy into their required mechanical drive, the E-Drive ensures the eCool has consistent, efficient cooling power and pull-down speeds whether operating on battery power or when plugged into the mains grid.

If used with the city versions of the Vector range, the eCool is also PIEK-compliant, which combined with its emissions performance, means that the system offers the ultimate solution to tightening inner city and urban regulations.

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